After writing last week's post: "High CO Reading, Now What?" it occurred to me that not as many people out there: technicians, raters, or auditors; are up to speed on the age old firing rate calculation. I hope this simple procedure is easily understood as you may find it useful if you are working with negative pressure gas valves, with Energy Star Homes, or just simply forgot your manometer at the shop. I…Continue
Energy benchmarking can unlock $9 billion in energy savings by 2020, suggests a recent report by the Institute of Market Transformation. Despite our lofty aspirations of energy independence and tackling global climate change, we are only beginning to implement the first step in the multifamily building sector – understanding our energy use. Multifamily housing has a number of characteristics that should make green retrofits an appealing investment, but only a fraction of the…Continue
The Appraisal Institute’s An Introduction to Green Homes is yet another valuable tool from the Institute, paving the way for appraisers to handle green home assignments. The book, authored by long-time appraiser, REALTOR, and educator Alan Simmons in 2010 helps appraisers new to this work “know what they don’t know.” The book equips appraisers to identify green building certifications, techniques,…Continue
Added by Home Energy Magazine on January 9, 2013 at 10:11am — No Comments
"Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities." Winston Churchill
How much does it cost to perform a deep-energy retrofit at a 100-year-old single-family home? Thanks to a recent study in Utica, New York, we now know the answer: about $100,000.…Continue
We all have stories about losing power in our home for several hours—or days—and many people suspect that power interruptions are becoming more frequent. They may be right; unfortunately, the utility data are so sketchy that nobody can say for certain. But declining investment in maintenance on the part of utilities, plus the increased frequency of extreme weather caused by climate change, are almost certain to keep the blackouts coming.
One response is to buy a home generator. That’s…Continue
From the great region of the country that gave us rock, blues, country, dubstep, and Tejano music origins, not to mention the space program, horns mounted on pickup trucks, and Gilley's (everywhere, now) comes the newest invention and innovation, the …Continue
This seems to be one of the unluckiest weeks to draw in the on-call pool for a technician. You see, over the Winter you have to respond to no-heat calls much faster than a residence without cooling on Memorial or Independence Day. I remember visiting homes many Festivus evenings and getting the old clunker of a boiler running, without the swears from "A Christmas Story". But, even over the last fifteen years, being on-call has changed. If you were not able to barter your way out of…Continue
Tankless- expensive, high maintenance, high failure rates, high install costs, limited flow rates, poor winter performance, long payback.
Hybrid Electric- too tall, need surrounding space for heat exchange, poor durability, noisy, may need condensate pump.
Solar- requires southern exposure, cold & cloudy days: poor performance, very long payback, high install costs
The good old Storage Tank water heater- electric is OK, fast…Continue
As I recently reviewed in my “Storytelling from BECC” blog, media provides a huge opportunity for the home performance industry to make it into the mainstream. That’s why I was pleased to see recently that HGTV’s show “Property Brothers” was dolling out advice that I’ve heard more than once at industry conferences.
For those of you unfamiliar, the “Property Brothers,” also known as Drew and Jonathan…Continue
Added by Macie Melendez on December 18, 2012 at 1:15pm — No Comments
The insurance industry, the world's largest business with $4.6 trillion in revenues, is making larger efforts to manage climate change-related risks, according to a new study published today in the journal Science.
"Weather- and climate-related insurance losses today average $50 billion a year. These losses have more than doubled each decade since the 1980s, adjusted for inflation," says the study's author Evan Mills, a scientist in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory…Continue
Added by Home Energy Magazine on December 18, 2012 at 12:58pm — No Comments
Promises of savings without tracking DRIVES ME NUTS. People are being harmed and we don't have any idea how big the harm is. Comprehensive Home Performance really takes off once you connect tracking results because now you can offer a thing very rare.
You can offer TRUTH. You can offer PROOF that what you say will happen, will happen. Delivering the "5th
How do we create pressure for Utilities to open up their data so tracking can be automated?…Continue
GUILTY! Once upon a time, I would have scoffed at mechanical engineers and contractors if they'd ask me, as the design architect, for a bigger room to put the HVAC (heating and air conditioning) equipment in.
"Are you crazy? And give up valuable storage space???"
They might have also ask me for dropped soffits and vertical chases to run the ductwork through. To which I would reply:
"What?!?! That's not consistent with my innovative and beautiful design! The…Continue
I am sure I am not the first to write about this, but it doesn't change expectations of homeowners or trade employers. Why is it that millionaire ball players can be successful batting .300? A pitcher can have thirty starts, win 20 games and could be named for the Cy Young? Or that a successful quarterback can throw 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions? The reason: they are much better than their peers.
Imagine, as an HVAC Tech, you got the diagnosis correct one-third of the…Continue
Added by Christopher Morin on December 4, 2012 at 7:00pm — No Comments
Reposted from i.e., the Center for Energy and Environment's Innovation Exchange blog -- http://mncee.org/Innovation-Exchange/ie/…Continue
We know energy efficiency can save the world, but can it save a marriage?
Leave it to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to take on that question. The agency is known for its vanguard energy research. But it is one thing to produce papers on topics like ‘Air Bypass in Vertical Stack Water Source Heat Pumps’ and another to delve into what a cold room can do to a new marriage.
That’s the premise behind Irreconcilable Temperatures, a…Continue
What do you call a former construction worker that knows how to dance the tango? Chris Dorsi. Okay, so maybe it’s not the best punch line, but it is certainly interesting. And that’s not the only thing we learned about Dorsi in the following interview.
Currently gearing up for regional conferences to be hosted by his newly founded company Habitat X in Portland and San Francisco, Dorsi is focused on combining professional training with…Continue
Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 28, 2012 at 10:18am — No Comments
When I attend a conference I can always tell which sessions I find most inspirational by the amount of notes I take. While attending the annual Behavior Energy and Climate Change (BECC) conference on Monday of this past week in Sacramento, the note test proved itself once again. Hands down, I found the most inspiration from the afternoon Spotlight Panel titled “Hollywood, Media and Messaging.”
To be fair, I was excited about…Continue
Added by Macie Melendez on November 28, 2012 at 10:20am — No Comments
The installed price of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States fell substantially in 2011 and through the first half of 2012, according to the latest edition of Tracking the Sun, an annual PV cost-tracking report produced by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).
The median installed price of residential and commercial PV systems completed in 2011 fell by roughly 11% to 14% from the year before, depending on system…Continue
Five very full days in Orlando at NAR Annual 2012 creates a full slate of new ideas, opportunities and new thinking about old obstacles. Here are my Top 10 ideas and…Continue